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Do you know what this packaging icon means?

Updated: Apr 18

In our daily lives, we encounter various symbols and logos on packaging, each carrying important information about a product's environmental impact and disposal. These labels offer insights into a product's environmental impact and ethical practices. In this guide, we'll explore the most commonly seen packaging labels in the UK market and shed light on their meanings and implications.

Why Packaging Labels Matter:

Labels on packaging serve as vital communication tools, providing consumers with insights into a product's recyclability, compostability, and environmental credentials. With the global shift towards sustainability, understanding these labels is essential for making environmentally responsible purchasing decisions.


General Labels

Mobius Loop Recycling:

This symbol indicates that the item is capable of being recycled. Some variations include a number and percentage to denote recycled materials.

  • Usage: Internationally recognized since 1970, Look for this symbol to identify products capable of being recycled.

  • More Information: Recycling Labels

GreeGreen Dot:

This is not a recycling symbol but signifies that a license fee has been paid towards recovery and waste management programs; not recyclability.

  • Usage: Widely used in Europe, it encourages companies to minimize packaging.

  • More Information: Pro-Europe


Trademarked by Keep Britain Tidy, this symbol encourages responsible waste disposal.

  • Usage: Common in the UK, it supports litter reduction and sustainability campaigns.

Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC):

Certifies responsible forest management and sustainable sourcing of materials (wood-based products).

  • Usage: Recognized globally, it ensures ethical and environmentally friendly practices.

  • More Information: FSC

Plastic Resin Codes: es:

Identifies the type of plastic used, but does not indicate recyclability.

  • Usage: Used internationally since 1988, it helps with sorting but not recycling.

  • More Information: Recycling Labels

Crossed-Out Trash Can:

This symbol indicates that you should not place electrical items in your waste bin. Electrical items can be recycled in several ways including via retailers and at Recycling Centres.

  • Usage: Used worldwide, it highlights special waste categories to prevent environmental harm.

  • More Information: Recycling Labels

Recyclable aluminium:

This symbol signifies that the item is crafted from recyclable aluminium, highlighting its potential for reuse and recycling.

  • Usage: Look for this symbol on products such as aerosols and aluminium foil. By choosing items with this label, you contribute to the recycling loop of aluminium, conserving resources and reducing environmental impact.

  • More Information: Recycling Labels


This symbol encourages the recycling of glass containers, emphasizing the importance of sustainable waste management practices.

  • Usage: Dispose of glass bottles and jars in designated bottle banks, separating them by colour if possible. Alternatively, utilize your glass household recycling collection service if available in your area.

  •  More Information: Recycling Labels

Understanding these labels empowers consumers to make informed choices and support sustainable practices. By paying attention to packaging labels, you contribute to a more environmentally conscious and responsible world.

Let's decode sustainability, one label at a time!


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